Klim Type Foundry just released The Future, a reimagining of Futura but from the original sketches rather than the more polished version that we’re all familiar with today. Kris Sowersby writes about all this and the history of Futura as well as what inspired him to design The Future:
Renner was working at the nexus of his own personal, classic taste, heated debates about the abolition of fraktur for roman type, and the reductionism of the avant-garde zeitgeist. He re-evaluated ancient letterforms through primal geometric construction to create Futura. Geometry fulfilled two promises: the foundation of the past and the machine-made progression of the future.
[...] Almost a century later they still look amazing. It’s 2022 and they’re still like new; their primal geometric power is undiminished. And they’re surprisingly readable. Sprinkled carefully in a paragraph of text they’re noticeable but not overly obtrusive. In headlines they command attention. I can almost imagine Renner working today, uploading them to his Instagram account.
Futura is one of those typefaces where its popularity has made me loathe it. It’s always used incorrectly, like Helvetica. Those typefaces are used so poorly so often that I tend to forget the value of the letterforms themselves and all I see is the failed application of lovely forms.
But The Future Light at 24px? Now that’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.